1. Foods made from industrial and processed seed oils
Heavily processed oils are often extracted from soybeans, corn, rapeseed (the source of canola oil), cottonseed, sunflower seed, and safflower, and contain plenty of omega-6 fatty acids.
If you’re going to saute vegetables or grill fish or meat, I recommend using olive, coconut, or avocado oil.
2. Foods with added refined sugars
Our brain uses energy in the form of glucose, a type of sugar, to fuel cellular activities. But a high-sugar diet can lead to excess glucose in the brain.
Don’t forget that many salty foods have hidden added sugars, too, like store-bought pasta sauces, ketchup, salad dressings and even canned soups. Replace them with homemade items made from whole foods.
3. Processed foods
Dieting A high percentage of ultra-processed foods may put you at risk of developing shorter telomeres — or the “cap” on our DNA. Longer telomeres tend to promote healthy cellular aging. Shortening of our telomeres may mean that we are at risk of developing degenerative diseases early in life.
A 2022 study also found that participants who ate the most ultra-processed foods like baked goods and soft drinks were more likely to have mild depression compared to those who consumed less.
Here’s a tip: If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, or have no idea what it is, it’s often best to avoid it.
4. Foods with artificial sweeteners
When you use artificial sweeteners that have no nutritional value, they can increase “bad” gut bacteria that can negatively affect your health. mood.
These sweeteners include saccharin, sucralose, and stevia. Aspartame can be particularly harmful, and has been directly linked to anxiety in research studies. It also causes oxidative stress, which increases harmful free radicals in the brain.
Some alternatives to consider: honey, monk fruit extract, or coconut sugar.
5. Fried foods
While items that are battered, crusty, or fried may be high on the list of comfort foods, they can also wreak havoc on the brain.
As an alternative, I suggest choosing baked, air-fried, or steamed versions of your favorite foods.
Dr. Uma Naidu He is a nutritional psychiatrist, brain expert, and faculty member at Harvard Medical School. She is also the Director of Nutrition and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and the best-selling author “This Is Your Brain on Food: An Indispensable Guide to the Surprising Foods That Fight Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and More.” follow her Twitter And the Instagram.
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